[Tagging] Tagging of State Parks in the US

Kevin Kenny kevin.b.kenny at gmail.com
Mon Jul 29 14:37:50 UTC 2019

On Mon, Jul 29, 2019 at 9:44 AM Martin Koppenhoefer
<dieterdreist at gmail.com> wrote:
> Maybe you can see (and map) the state park as one thing and the nature reserve within it as another? For the state park you would need to say it is a state park and has this name and or number (usually there will be an identifier, maybe it’s not strictly necessary). The nature reserve within would already be spatially connected, but if it is an explicit constituent part of the park that would maybe be too weak? Is the nature reserve managed by the state or a different government level?

Sure, detailed mapping inside the parks is possible and encouraged!
The fundamental problem has been how to tag the whole park - because
that's what the name is bound to, and many of the areas inside are
less formal - the parks department has decided to keep the 'nature
reserve' part in a natural state for hiking and bird watching, but
it's not otherwise a 'nature reserve' with formal protection. They
hypothetically could choose a different management strategy under a
different administration. (In practice, they don't. You can't turn
that ship very fast.)

In an earlier message (I see that you've not been following the whole
thread, which is getting pretty long so I don't blame you) I mentioned
Bear Mountain State Park
https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/6467468 as being fairly typical
of a 'complex' example, where the larger-scale mapping is starting to
come along. (With many of these parks, we're still doing well just to
get them on the map in the right places!) Most State Parks are
simpler, but I choose this example because it's the sort that appears
to have nearly "one of everything."

It's a complex object; 'park', 'nature_reserve', 'recreation_ground',
'national_park' are all inaccurate. It's best to give it a border, a
name, a protection status, and call it a day. I contend that the
current tagging of https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/6467468 is
close to 'best current practice'. It's important to emphasize
'current' here - the numeric protection classes are what the Wiki
currently recommands, and what New York currently uses. That's subject
to change, and the other posters in this thread are demanding such
change. (That's fine, but my original objective was to clarify best
*current* practice!)

(Details follow. Stop here if not interested, but a few paragraphs
detailing the sort of complexities encountered are probably in order.)

The park's border is complex, because the village of Fort Montgomery
and the hamlet of Jones Point are 'inside' the park. (Not quite
inside, topologically, and not owned or administered by the park, but
you have to drive on roads with park land on either side to get to

The parts of the park that see the greatest number of visitors are the
developed sections - the northeast area, near the bridge over the
Hudson, and the scenic drive and observation tower on Bear Mountain
itself (the peak west of Hessian Lake). The main developed area
includes two formal historic preserves (Fort Clinton and Fort
Montgomery - note the 'museum' icons at high zoom levels), a zoo,
swimming and boating facilities, a large grassy area for informal
athletic events, a carousel, several playgrounds, two inns (one of
which also offers group accommodations in large cabins), a ranger
station and various other PoI's. It disallows camping, but camping is
available at the larger Harriman State Park, coterminuous to the west.
(The nearest authorized 'back country' campsite is West Mountain, in a
cutout from the park on the southwest side. The nearest 'front
country' camping is at Silver Mine and Lake Tiorati, a short distance
to the southwest on Seven Lakes Drive (Road, Parkway; it's the same
road, and the signage is inconsistent). The park also embeds an
ecological research reserve (Iona Island - on the Hudson River, on the
east side of the rail grade.

There are other historic sites embedded in the park, such as the ghost
town of Doodletown (the last inhabitants were finally forced out in
the 1960's; the cemeteries are still maintained, and the waterworks
still serve Jones Point, Iona Island and Buckberg), the
never-completed Dunderberg Spiral Railway
https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/2138097 (an insane
nineteenth-century plan to build what would have been the world's
longest roller-coaster right to the present day; the plan was
torpedoed when the Columbian Exposition of 1892 went to Chicago
instead of New York), and many abandoned mines, including a failed
attempt by Thomas Edison at electromagnetic refinement of iron ore.

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